Sunday, October 22
After studying the New Mexico Benchmark Atlas and checking weather forecasts, I decided to travel south to Las Vegas, NM where Storrie Lake State Park is located. It’s about 75 miles away but almost 2,000 feet lower in elevation. The weather forecast looks very pleasant for the next 10 days. A couple cooler days, but not bad.
Storrie Lake appears to be an older park and the infrastructure is showing its age. The showers and the RV dump station are not operational. But I’m happy with my campsite which backs to the lake and has an adobe like shelter and level parking pad. There are no other campers in this section. Everyone else is in one of the electric sections.
The park is about 4 miles from Las Vegas, NM where there is a Walmart and other local stores. I have 4 bars of LTE and can even get local TV stations if for some strange reason I want to watch the news 🙂
My new Olympian Wave 6 Catalytic Propane heater has been working great, I love it! It is silent and does not use electricity. One night I ran it through the night because the low was around 20º. Unless it is going to be very cold, I light it in the morning when I am ready to get up. I sleep in my down 15º sleeping bag that I use for backpacking to keep warm during the night. When using a non-vented propane heater one must crack open a window and a vent to create cross ventilation to ensure there is enough oxygen inside.
Tuesday, October 24
Today I went into town to grocery shop, look around a little and spent about 3 hours at the public library using their wifi. It is really hard to rely on cell phone as the sole internet connection! The Las Vegas library is one of the approximately 2500 libraries across the country built between 1883 and 1929 by Andrew Carnegie.
Wednesday, October 25
Late afternoon I took a drive over to the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge. The full winter migration hasn’t quite started yet. But I saw some ducks and several hawks. Also a herd of elk off in the distance. All too far away for pictures.
There was a nice view west towards the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Las Vegas. The peak on the right is Hermits Peak.
The Storrie Lake entry gate is closed at 5pm this time of year so I had to be sure to get back by then so I didn’t have to park by the highway and walk in.
Thursday, October 26
Today was a very nice day. High in the 70s and finally very little wind. I decided to do a hike on the Hermits Peak Trail. The trailhead is about 15 miles away, but google maps said it was a 45 minute drive. Hmm, I wonder why? The drive is on State Hwy 65 which is paved all the way. However the last 10 miles is very narrow and windy. 15 mph much of the way! In this section the road is only about one and half lanes wide, haha! And no guardrail in a lot of spots. So I’m sure glad I wasn’t towing the Nash up there. This is my second experience since I’ve been in New Mexico with a state highway being very narrow. So from now on I’m going to be wary of any highway that goes up into the mountains and check it out before towing on it.
It’s about 11am by the time I hit the trail. It is a lovely day for a hike. I haven’t been hiking much the last several months and I want to get back into it again. Between the late start and me not being in the greatest shape I know I can’t go to the summit. (I had to be back by 5pm also). According to my MotionX GPS app I hiked 4.6 miles round trip, with 1,445 feet of elevation gain. So it was a good workout. The trail is rocky most of the way. And there were about 15 blowdowns across the trail to climb over or go under.
I enjoyed getting out into the forest and getting some exercise. Friday is supposed to be cold and rainy. So on my way through town I filled up the gas tank and ran into the Walmart for a few groceries. Will probably hang out around camp tomorrow.